Thursday, December 11, 2008

Color Coding and The Library

I now have a color-coded To Do list. I do not know why I hadn't thought of this before. It's awesome. I have it in rainbow order (which did make me feel like a first grader but whatev). Red is urgent, as in must do first before anything else on list, then orange for the first part of the weekend, yellow for the second half, green for by the end of next week and blue for whenever I get around to it. It's much more calming to see two red things and an orange thing to do rather than a billion things that don't have to get done immediately but have all ended up on the list in a mish mash. Pheeew.

SO the library. I got stuck on two books last month, thus my sad finish to 100 ish books in a year. I mean I won't do 100 but I am going to come pretty damn close. If only I hadn't been stymied by the Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh and My Sister, My Love. Don't get me wrong, these were great, they were just extremely hard to get into and incredibly complex in style, respectively. I will (WILL!) pick them up again, but my mind is a bit too scattered to follow right at the moment.

Anyways, I consulted Ye Olde Palm Pilot for my list of books. I am really cheap because it will basically take moving a mountain to get me to buy a book - it must meet one of the following criteria 1. I read it and it was so awesome I must buy it so I can read it again and again and again. Notable books: classics (especially Dover Thrift Edition ones) Dogs of Babel, Sea Glass, The Last Time They Met, Poisonwood Bible (read it once a year, feel the need to reread soon), Prodigal Summer (read every spring to welcome in the season), Year of Wonders, Daughter of Fortune, the Nick Bantok Griffin and Sabine books, No. Ladies Detective Agency books, etc. 2. I am going on vacation and need something to read. Notable books: Eat, Pray, Love, The Birds of Costa Rica, The Birds of Kenya. 3. The price is right. Notable books: Beside a Burning Sea, The Audacity of Hope, The Life of Birds. 4. It sounds so fantastically wonderful that I have thought about it the entire time I've been wandering around the book store and now must purchase it before I leave because otherwise the fact that I have not purchased this book will haunt me forever. Notable books: I can't think of any. Which is why the following is important...

I love the library. It's an obsession. Because I am cheap and fickle it is the ideal place for me,and in addition to supporting my local community, my own mother's job, and being raised by a librarian, I use it because I have practically the entire world at my fingertips for FREE.

Sometimes, and this is super dorky, I get into a frenzy when I'm there. Like yesterday, for example. I went in to get five specific books - five because that's a manageable amount to read. Ok, I went to get six, technically, but one was a knitting book. I go to the non fiction craft section to look at the scarf book I wanted and see its companion shawl book. Ooooh bonus. Then I sauntered over to the new fiction. I see the new Jennifer Weiner book and grab it, because I needed some chickie lit. Then I go over to the new non-fiction. Ohhh that sounds good, oh and that! Oh and the book I've wanted to read forEVER! Oh! OH! OH! Suddenly my five books have grown to a stack so large I have to steady it with my chin as I walk to the check out desk. I said to my librarian "Um. Wow. Got a little excited with the books." She laughed and said "Well. You do know they're free, right?" and laughed. I just hope the five I put my name in for don't come too quickly. Oh, and that's another thing. Frickin' INTERLIBRARY LOAN. It is glorious. Of course some libraries are bitchy and protect their newer books, but I can wait as loooong as I need til they're unprotected. I can bide my time for months while all my other holds are filled. I live in a small-ish town that has a beautiful but not huge library. With an ILL system that includes two colleges and World Cat, I am unlimited. Completely unlimited. It totally rocks.

Sigh. Blogging about the library just put me in the happiest mood. As Austin Powers would say "Nerd Alert!" :) That's ok, it just makes me a stronger Jeopardy contestant anyways!


Alexandra Strong and Able said...

The color-coding to-do-list is a GREAT idea! I never thought of that either, but it's super smart!

Also, is Seaglass by Anita Shreve? I read that last summer and I enjoyed most of it until the end, then i felt like she just rushed to get it finished. I'd like to try her other books, though.

I also just got a Jodi Picoult book, The Tenth Circle, because I'd been hearing so much about her. What are your thoughts? I've been kind of underwhelmed so far...It feels like stuff I could write if I just sat down and tried and I don't really get the hype...hmm maybe I'm missing something.

ALSO: Here's a good tip in order to find sometimes current books for CHEAP...ready?!

the GOODWILL/Salvation Army!

I was at the Goodwill last week and left with 6 books, almost all relatively new (oldest one is 20020 and it cost me a grand total offff...$5.00!!!

Sometimes it's slim pickings, but more often that not they have some best sellers, always classics and some really funny trashy-sexy time books. and they're never usually more than a buck (although I did pick up Dolly Parton's biography for $1.99...a mere bargain for a glimpse into her royal bustiness)

whew...end comment rant!

everything and nothing said...

Of course some libraries are bitchy and protect their newer books


What a happy post! Also, I had to return Dogs of Babel before I finished it. I'm excited to check it out again!

Al said...

Yes - I don't know why I never did color coding before!

I totally agree on Seaglass - but I have it and read it often, though sometimes skip the end.

Read Tenth Circle.....It wasn't my favorite Jodi Picoult book. I actually like her older stuff better because I feel like people now expect her to write this crime drama-y book with a trial and teens and ethical problems blah blah blah. I still read them all, but sometimes I'm like 'eeehhh Jodi'

WOAH - Goodwill and Salvation Army have books??!! Had NO idea.
Thanks for the tip!

Al said...

E and N: YES the bitchery in the suburbs is akin to Harvard's elitism - libraries in the rich towns always protect their items fiercely, and often they'll protect non-new items, like CD's and DVD's! If you go there though sometimes they have to let you take it, and it PISSES them off. I've never tried but my mom says they call the network all the time and complain.

Yes, Dogs of Babel is great, very light, and slightly odd. Amy and I loved it but my mom was kinda like "ummmm. ok. that was weird." I hope you enjoy it though!

sarah pekkanen said...

I really liked The Tenth Circle -- more so than some of her earlier books. Also I thought Dogs of Babel was wonderful. You listed a bunch I haven't read yet -- so thanks for the recommendations. I already hit the library today but may have to go back soon!

Al said...

Oh glad you enjoyed the list! It's funny when you talk to people who've read all of Jodi Picoult's books - it seems people who started with her early stuff, like Picture Perfect and Salem Falls are kinda like "whaaa?" when they read her new ones (that's me. I mean I love her still) My coworker started with "My Sister's Keeper" and when she went back to the older books she was like "what the heck?!" Still good stuff though!

Al said...

Yikes - Sarah I just visited your site! I look forward to reading your book!

Elizabeth said...

I just visited Sarah's site! That's so cool, Al! She's hilarious! I totally signed up for her monthly newsletter. Way to go for attracting such luminous commentators. :)